Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jill's Gingerbread and Royal Icing

These gingerbread cookies are soft and flavorful.  You cut out the dough while still warm eliminating the time-consuming step of chilling.  From my friend, Jill Hunter.

Gingerbread
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup molasses
1 t ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking soda
2/3 c butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
4 cups flour

In a medium saucepan mix sugar, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt over medium to medium high heat.  Cook until just beginning to boil.  Stir and add butter until melted.  Remove from heat and add baking soda.  Mixture will foam up a bit.  Quickly add in the beaten egg stirring constantly.  Then add flour one cup at a time.  (I had trouble stirring the thick dough by hand, so I moved the mixture to my Kitchen Aid for the last 1-2 cups to mix).  Roll dough out immediately on a floured surface while still warm and cut into shapes.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 6 minutes.  Let cool on pans for a couple of minutes before moving to a cooling rack.  Cool completely before icing.

We love these topped with Royal Icing

Royal Icing
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (8oz)
1 1/2 T meringue powder
1/4 cup lukewarm water

Combine in large bowl, beat a medium speed of mixer for 5-6 minutes or until the icing is firm enough to pipe, but still spreading consistency.  Add a few more drops of water if needed.  If desired, tint frosting using paste food coloring.  Note: icing dries quickly, keep it covered at all times with a damp paper towel.  Spoon icing into ziploc freezer bags and snip a small hole for piping.  Pipe around the edges of the cookies then fill in.  Add sprinkles and decorations while still wet.  Let set for one hour to dry.

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